April 10th, 2013
08:50 AM ET
10 years ago

Deal reached on background checks in Senate  

(CNN) - Sens. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, plan to announce a bipartisan deal on background checks for gun shows and Internet sales at an 11 a.m. press conference today, CNN's Dana Bash has learned.       

A Democratic leadership source says the compromise will likely be the first amendment to gun legislation being considered, after the Senate votes to begin the gun debate Thursday.        

READ MORE: CNN Poll: Popular background checks also cause worry

The breakthrough background check agreement is a key part of gun legislation. Because it has been struck by two senators with strong support from the NRA, they hope to find the 60 votes that will be needed to overcome opposition to pass their amendment        

The senate is expected to debate gun legislation for at least two weeks.    

Democrats believe as many as a dozen GOP senators will vote with them, making up for the handful of pro-gun Democrats who might vote against beginning debate on the bill. Fourteen Republicans promise to filibuster taking up the measure.

Several Republican senators told CNN Tuesday they would only vote to begin debate on the bill if they were assured by Democrats they would be allowed to offer amendments to the legislation.

Democratic leaders want to give senators from both parties ample opportunities to amend the bill and are prepared to debate it beyond a scheduled recess the first week in May, if doing so will increase the chances of passage.

“The way you put together a coalition to pass the bill is to allow as many amendment votes as you can. We are willing to take the time to do that and have that process,” the aide said.

Those negotiators will now have more time to find common ground on language, since the gun debate is expected to be lengthy. Democratic leaders also argue any bill they put on the floor will represent a substantial improvement in gun safety.

Many of those additional votes could be politically difficult for centrist Democrats, especially those up for re-election in red states, as Republicans are expected to craft amendments designed to put those senators on the spot. Nevertheless, Democratic leaders have determined it’s a risk they need to take if they want to pass substantive legislation to respond to the mass shootings that have plagued the nation in recent years.

“Once we’re on it we want to have an open process where there are a lot of votes and we really work through that,” the aide said.   

- CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Senate
soundoff (222 Responses)
  1. Julio Chavez-Reyes

    Is this was we can call a breakthrough? We reached a point where we have to argue and discuss making a gun man reload a couple times before he kills loads of people. Newtown took 300 seconds and he fired a couple hundred bullets. No ban, no limit on magazines, no mandatory psychiatric exams, but we end up with a watered down background check.

    Can we really call this progress?

    April 10, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. The Brake Fast Club (@BrakeFastClub)

    My background check is expected to be six figures.

    April 10, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    "you cant be takun away ar gunz........it's unamurkin" I can't wait to hear mr Gun today Wayne Lapierre on this. He wants everyone to be able to get a gun. That way, he gets more $ from the manufacturers that he shills for

    April 10, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. HenryB

    We can only hope!

    April 10, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  5. big b

    Won't pass.

    April 10, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. Paul

    I thought internet/mail order purchases had to be shipped to FFL dealer for background checks and pickup.

    There's laws for this already. They just have to enforce them. Of the 15,000 ineligible people that tried to buy a firearm in 2010 a whopping 55 were prosecuted. Enforce what you've already got.

    April 10, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  7. jassy

    What is with CNN acting like any of these gun control measures are going to do anything when we have a huge mental health problem. Are people this dumb?

    April 10, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  8. target

    Didn't Lanza break 13 existing laws?

    April 10, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. Dan

    Interesting that Gun Legislation is bringing together Republicans and Democrats...that it may be gun legislation that allows Congress to move forward on the Budget as well as other bills in a more bipartison way.

    April 10, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. Eric

    Umm... there are already background checks at gun shows and internet sales so what's actually in the bill?

    April 10, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Senior

    Let us see some profiles in courage.

    April 10, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. John C.

    And so begins the sytematic destruction of a great nation. Sad day.

    April 10, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  13. longtooth

    Background checks within reason should be passable. If democrats want folks to listen, they have to come out forcefully with a guarantee that they will not try to ban guns, ever. I am an Obama voter, and even I am not convinced that many senators would like to ban guns and confiscate them from law-abiding citizens. Say it soon, and say it often. No gun ban. No confiscation!

    April 10, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. Ar45

    Be on guard. Remember you are dealing with NRA in the back ground. Make sure there are no loopholes. Do not be in haste to pass a legislation just for passing. It should have teeth- meaningful.

    April 10, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  15. Unreal

    Even something as silly as background checks, something that is universally considered a good idea with those with any common sense, becomes a partisan issue. With the 24/7 news cycle, psycho babble coming from the parties and no one on the right willing to stand up for common sense and just having half a brain....it's a wonder our form of government will last another 10-20 years.

    The people screaming about constitution this and that are the same people who are running our form of government into the ground...

    April 10, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  16. jacksays

    amendments to the bill.

    that's where the system fails. No amendments. This is the bill, for yay or nay but this is the bill. No "stuff" added to it as riders, especially stuff that will have no bearing whatsoever on the meat of this bill.

    April 10, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. Fsjunkie

    Agreement in Congress? This is an outrage! This is a violation of my constitutional rights. I don't know which one(s) yet, but it is. (sarc)

    April 10, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. Jessica

    This is a smoke mirror. "WE THE PEOPLE" not "WE THE 595"......come on, read the history on other countries taking away rights to bear arms. It started just this same way. The only reason America has never been invaded is because we all have weapons, or can obtain weapons to defend ourselves. I do not want to be caught off gaurd without a way to protect myself and my family. I do not want a dictator or live in a communist country. I want to be free!! May God be forever with us.

    April 10, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. JamesHM

    So how many tax dollars are we spending to increase background by 1%?

    April 10, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Gene

    Every gun I have ever ordered on the net has caused a background check to be performed on me by the FFL the item was shipped too. How is this legislation on background checks for internet sales new?

    April 10, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. John

    It's a start!
    Glad to see them try. I agree we have the right to have arms however a little reason and safety checks go a long way... And no it will not stop future incidents or cure this troubled society but does that mean we just give up? This is the right thing to do!

    April 10, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. mike

    Im from West Virginia and i can tell Mr. Manchin to enjoy his time in D.C. because next time his rear end is up for re-election i guarantee he wont be back. W.V. will not put up with a Senator like Manchin he's becoming more like the Illuminati liberals up in Washington. Like i said have a good time while you can Manchin your Senate days are numbered.

    April 10, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. JamesHM

    background checks*

    April 10, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. guest

    we should likewise revisit the 1st amendment oh yeah and the fourth,

    April 10, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. Al

    Will not change a thing. Will not stop crazies from doing horrible acts. Just more paperwork for the law abiding Americans. While cars and bats kill more people each year and our econmony is in the dumper you liberals chase another rabbit. America is FED up with you.

    April 10, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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